Iranians in the United Arab Emirates

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Iranians in the United Arab Emirates
Total population
(500, 000 (2015)[1]
5% of the UAE population[1]
800, 000+ (estimates, 2012) [2]
more than 8% of the UAE population)
Regions with significant populations
Abu Dhabi · Dubai
Persian · English · Arabic
Predominately Shi'a Islam

Iranians in the United Arab Emirates are Emirati citizens or residents of the United Arab Emirates of Iranian national background. The community accounts for 5% of the country's population.


Due to the geographical proximity between Iran and the United Arab Emirates, Persians were the first major group of foreign settlers in the region, with a history dating back to the 1810s.[3] The UAE is currently home to 500,000 Iranian expatriates, most of whom live in Dubai.[4] The Iranian Club in Dubai is the main social club of Iranian expatriates in the country.

The Iranian population in U.A.E. also includes significant communities of Baloch people and Khuzestani Arabs.[5]

Business and organisations[edit]

There are an estimated 8,000 Iranian-backed businesses in Dubai.[6] Iranians have invested over $300 billion into the country.[7] There is an Iranian Business Council - Dubai. There is also an Iranian Hospital in Dubai.

Iran maintains an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate-general in Dubai.


There are two notable Iranian mosques: the Iranian Mosque in Bur Dubai and the Iranian Mosque in Satwa. There is also a significant community of Baha'is.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "UAE´s population – by nationality". BQ Magazine. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Iranian National Organization for Civil Registration: More than 2 million Iranians live in the U.S.A and the U.A.E" (in Persian). Radio Farda. September 7, 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "Negotiating Change: The New Politics of the Middle East". Jeremy Jones. 2007. pp. 184–186. 
  4. ^ "UAE soldiers to learn Persian". 2011-04-09. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  5. ^ Abdelkhah, Fariba. The Thousand and One Borders of Iran: Travel and Identity. Routledge. p. 9. ISBN 9781317418979. 
  6. ^,dwp_uuid=be75219e-940a-11da-82ea-0000779e2340.html
  7. ^ Middle East Online: UAE open for Iran business as US seeks to choke Tehran